My top favorite fruits include a couple of tropical fruits:
If you’re wondering how I was able to get my favorite fruits all in one image, that’s because I used Adobe Firefly. It’s an A.I. generator for art. Here are the two photos I generated and then in Photoshop CC, I merged them and added arrows and text.
I’m a beta tester for the software and have been having a lot of fun playing with it. I’ve only just started so there’s a lot more I haven’t used, but I hope to get more familiar with it. What do you think?
It’s been a while since I’ve made bitter melon soup. I can’t even remember the last time I made it but it was probably over a decade ago. This time I decided to follow this recipe on Youtube. I’m not a huge fan of the super bitterness of the bitter melon so to draw some of that bitterness out, after I removed the seeds, I soaked the melon in salt water for about ten minutes.
I didn’t have all the ingredients from the recipe so I used what I had on hand: lemongrass, garlic, scallions, cilantro, and mint. I had some Thai peppers on hand so I used a few of them for a touch of heat.
Everything was chopped up and mixed with ground beef before stuffing the melons which I’d cut into thirds. Whatever was leftover from the pork mix, I made into little meatballs. With the peppers, I simply cooked it with the soup.
The soup turned out pretty good. My high-schooler really liked the meatballs but didn’t care for the bitter melon. My husband and my other daughter didn’t care for the soup. I guess this is why I rarely made this dish.
There are many ways to cook bitter melon but I grew up eating it as a soup so it’s what I’m familiar with. Mom would also make it stir-fry, I believe. I’ll have to try stir-frying next time. Have you had bitter melon soup or stir-fried? What did you think?
Around the same time I made the second lemon blueberry cake, I made rye bread. I love the way rye tastes with caraway seeds so I put quite a lot in. Initially, I was going to make it in a dutch oven but husband knew a little bit about how to make bread (he once worked in the bakery in a grocery store) so we used his knowledge to bake this bread. It’s something I’m sure anyone who’s baked bread knows, and that’s to let the bread rise in a warmed oven for about an hour or so if possible before baking.
I used Bob’s Red Mill Dark Rye Flour. The bag it came in had the recipe on the back so I decided to try that recipe instead of the one I found on Youtube. However, I didn’t have molasses or wheat gluten so I left those out. I also didn’t have bread flour so I used all-purpose flour.
The rye bread turned out perfect. I made a turkey sandwich with it and it was delicious.
A few weeks back, I made a lemon blueberry cake. After buying blueberries from Costco and no one eating them I decided to make a cake with them because I didn’t want them to go bad and have to toss them away. I followed a recipe on Youtube, here. It looked easy enough to make and the outcome was delicious.
I had made the cake in the evening so the photos made the cake look darker than it really was. I used a cake pan and then transferred it onto a cake stand. There was subtle sweetness to it because it only required one cup of sugar. Also, because I didn’t have sour cream on hand I used plain Greek yogurt because that’s what I had.
A week later, I decided to make the cake again but this time I made it in a pie pan. I used blueberry Greek yogurt instead of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream and it turned tasty as well.
Husband and I started eating the cake before I remembered to take a photo.
A month ago or so, I ordered a dutch oven from Amazon in hopes to try making my own bread. I watched a bunch of Youtubes on how to make bread. There were lots of videos that I got overwhelmed a bit. I then Googled a bread recipe and found this one. It sounded simple and easy so I went with it. I’m very happy to say, it turned out pretty good. The outside was super crunchy and the inside was soft and slightly chewy. I had it with butter and it was delicious.
You don’t need a dutch over to make bread. There are different ways and they can be found all over Youtube or the Internet. I personally wanted to try making it in a dutch oven. I’ve been eying bread bakers and bread makers and want to try them out but I just don’t have a lot of room in my kitchen. I’ve been thinking of turning part of the basement into a storage for cooking/baking items but that’s not going to happen. I’d rather convert it to scrapbooking room #2 because I love papers and colors more. Anyway, my next bread making goal is to make rye bread. I love rye bread especially with caraway seeds.
If you’ve made bread before, let me know your method or if you have a recipe you think I should try out.
With two kids under 21, we toasted with sparkling cider.
Hope you all had a great new year. This year is going to be exciting because I’m open for book reviews again. You can click on the book review link at top right or click here for submission requirements.
I once tried a home hot pot and loved it so much that I decided to just make it over stove top. My favorite was the Tom Yum. I buy the paste and add some lime leaves, galanga slices (if I don’t have it fresh/frozen, I use the powder), lemon grass, whatever veggies I have on hand, and beef or chicken stock. Instead of vermicelli noodles, I use udon. I’ve tried it with rice noodles as well but I prefer the udon. As far as veggies goes, I often make it with broccoli and green beans. I also like it with shredded cabbage and/or bok choy but husband doesn’t like either so I don’t tend to use them unless it’s only me eating it.
I’ve made seafood versions with shrimp, crab meat, and tilapia. In this version, I used sea bass. I’ve also tried it with thin slices of red meat and that wasn’t bad. My my favorite is just with tilapia.
I love this soup because it’s easy and quick to make, and it tastes great, especially on cold wintry days.
Mom picked these cantaloupe from my plot at the community garden. All were orange inside but one. I didn’t eat that one because I wasn’t sure if it would taste right. I did taste the second smallest one and it tasted like cucumber. I’d love to grow more next year.
Two weekends ago, Mom picked courgettes (aka zucchinis) and gave me quite a bunch. The baby ones were juicy and delicious grilled. The larger ones I boiled and bagged and froze for occasions when I want to have them with a meal. Mom did this when I was young and she still does it now. It’s convenient and keeps from wasting all these beautiful and mild flavored squashes.
The herbs and garlic were from Mom’s garden in her backyard. She gave me way too much spearmint that I decided to see if I could grow some in water. They seem to be sprouting roots so sounds positive. I’m not good at growing things unless it’s a plant in dirt, but even then, the plant needs to have strong roots otherwise they don’t live very long. The cilantro was the perfect amount to make four batches of Hmong pepper sauce.
As mentioned a few months back, my daughter’s boyfriend (who is African/British/Canadian) loves my Hmong pepper sauce. He eats it with everything so now when I make it, I make sure to pack some for him.
My mother gave me a handful of scallions from her garden and I decided to make scallion pepper sauce with it.
These were so pretty I just wanted to look at them all day, however, I didn’t want them to go bad so I had to do something quick with them. I also couldn’t think of anything else to make with them since I don’t have a lot of food in my fridge at the moment. With hot pepper sauce, I could freeze it for later.
I had an extra bag of frozen Thai peppers in the freezer and some leftover cilantro from pho last week so they went into the mix. If I didn’t have frozen peppers, I would have used dried peppers.
I chopped everything up.
And used a mortal and pestle to mash it all up. I also added salt, fish sauce, and lime juice.
This made about a cup and a half.
I put most of it in a container to freeze for later and put a little aside for the next few days.
But, my daughter and her boyfriend stopped by and her boyfriend loved it so I sent him off with a little bit. I told him he could always come back for more.